Reach in-market travelers with over the top TV advertising

By the BlackDog Internet Marketing team

tourism marketing

Image created using generative AI

Video everywhere

These days everyone is glued to their screens — and they’re consuming more television, movies and video content than ever before. For a marketer, especially one who’s looking to capture the attention of the wanderers, the globe-trotters, travel lovers and the family fun-seekers — this fact is more than good news, it’s a gold mine. Not only are folks watching more television and video, but they’re also doing it in brand new ways, and not solely traditional broadcast TV. They are now also watching their television, movies, and videos through connected TV. For marketers who’ve been unable to take advantage of television advertising because of its costs and numerous limitations, Over The Top (OTT) TV and connected TV (CTV) are the game changers you’ve been waiting for.

What exactly are Over The Top media and connected TV?

First, let’s define these new marketing terms. If you’re in marketing or advertising, you’ve likely heard these terms — but if you’re not sure what they mean or what’s the difference between the two, you’re not the only one; there’s a lot of confusion in the industry, and often these terms are used interchangeably. So, here’s a clear-cut explanation:

Over The Top (OTT) is any television/movie/video content that is watched digitally on a connected device, such as Connected TV, laptop, or mobile device.

Connected TV (CTV) is any device that connects digitally to the internet. Examples would be Smart TV, Roku, PlayStation, etc. The only differentiating factor between this and traditional TV is the connection behind the scenes.

As you can see from the graphic above, there are various content providers (the companies who are creating the shows, movies, and videos you want to watch.) Content providers can be either ad-supported or ad-free. 76% of Over The Top television streamers watch on an ad-supported platform, and 49% said they watch on an ad-supported platform most of the time. Most importantly for you (the marketer, advertiser, or business), you can now place highly targeted advertising during this content without having to do a large media buy from a cable sales representative.

Who is using Connected TV?

The short answer is most people. If you have a Smart TV, watch Hulu on your laptop, use a Roku or Chromecast device, etc., you yourself are using a connected device in your home. There is a small but rapidly growing number of people referred to as “cord cutters” who are canceling their cable/satellite subscriptions completely and opting to view their content through a connected device only. A few years back, with the advent of services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu, people realized they don’t have to subscribe to Comcast or U-verse or other cable services to get the content they want. In 2018, approximately 147 million consumers chose Netflix as their go-to for content, 89 million for Amazon Prime and about 55 million for Hulu. These numbers don’t even include those who subscribe to a combination of all of these types of digital-only content providers.

That being said, most households still use a blend of traditional TV and CTV in their home. If you are advertising on CTV, then you can target 75% of the households in the United States.

The average make-up of an Over The Top viewer as of August 2019 is as follows:

  • 54% are males
  • 54% are married
  • 50% have children living in the household
  • 59% are Caucasian, 19% are Hispanic, and 14% are African-American
  • HH Income $75k+
  • Light TV viewers


Having these choices is good for the viewer and also good for you! While consumers are happily devouring their favorite video and television content on their own terms, marketers are zeroing in on the opportunities to connect with them. It’s a win-win! Here’s why:

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Benefits of advertising on OTT and CTV

By now you’re likely realizing the incredible opportunity that CTV advertising provides — your audience is already there, and more and more of them are showing up every day. There are many other benefits to advertising on CTV beyond the ability to reach TV audiences without doing a traditional TV advertising purchase.

Check out these benefits:

  • Target audiences using hyper-specific demographics
  • Ability to target in-market and in-destination customers who are seeking tours/attractions/things to do in your market (read more about this below!)
  • Does not require large media buys or contracts and therefore is more budget-friendly for small- to medium-sized businesses
  • Highly personalized and interactive advertising experiences
  • Measurable results
  • Non-skippable ads


And, unlike traditional TV watchers who have a strong disdain for advertisements, research indicates that OTT and CTV audiences (although some services offer ad-free subscriptions for a higher price) are so engaged, they’re willing to watch ads just to have their content. And those viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text. Add in the fact that many services offer the ability to run ads that cannot be skipped (we’re all familiar with that no fast-forwarding message) and the marketing opportunities that abound are as good as gold!

How about a marketing bull’s-eye?

Traditional TV is known for its mass marketing tactics — and until the advent of OTT and CTV, it was the only way to have a vast reach on television. Cast a wide net and hope you catch a few good fish — or in this case, consumers. But those days are over and there’s no turning back. With OTT and CTV, you can now precisely hone in on your target and speak directly to them where they live, work and play using location, viewing and buying habits, just to name a few targeting abilities of CTV advertising.

Ability to target in-market and in-destination customers

First, some quick definitions of in-market and in-destination:

  • In-market audience: A potential customer who is currently searching for your product or service but is not physically located in the vicinity of your business. Example: “My wife and I are planning a trip to Boston, in the fall. We have started to search for possible things to do.”
  • In-destination audience: A potential customer who is currently in your city. Example: “I just got off the plane in Boston and I am excited to start my vacation!”



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With OTT and CTV, travelers are more within reach than they ever were before because you can speak directly to them when they’re already looking for you! According to Google, those in-market audiences are actively searching for things to do in your destination before they leave home — and they’re eager and enthusiastic to buy. So whether it’s a tour, an attraction, an action-packed excursion, or something in between, your targeted advertisement shows them you have exactly what they’re looking for. For example, there is a potential customer who is currently in Florida. They just finished researching attractions on Google for their upcoming Boston vacation. They are now in an in-market audience and can potentially get your Boston-related ad when they sit down to watch their favorite new ABC show on their Smart TV the next day.

Similarly, once they’ve arrived in your city (in-destination audience), the opportunity to connect continues as you serve up videos to visitors who are on the lookout for things to do. This same potential customer has now landed in Boston. They are now in an in-destination audience and can potentially get your ad when they are watching a new Hulu show while sitting in their hotel room at the end of their first day exploring the city.

CTV advertising is complementing some of the traditional in-destination marketing tools like rack cards, magazine ads, brochures, and billboards. With OTT and CTV, you now have a brand new way to grab their attention and keep it during their vacation.

It’s a whole new world for travel and tourism!

For travel and tourism marketers, CTV advertising opens up a whole new world — an actual, legit new world. Because now you can run ads where you never have before, during programs your budget didn’t previously allow for, like the big game on ESPN, the newest show on CBS or during highly popular shows like Grey’s Anatomy or Chopped, to name a few. The possibilities are endless, and OTT and CTV have leveled the playing field. In addition, because of the enhanced opportunities for audience targeting and measurable results, your marketing campaigns can become more cost-effective and successful.

Now, travel and tourism marketers, it’s time to boldly go where you have never gone before!

Pack your bags and get moving — your audience awaits you on CTV where you can expand your reach, hone in on your target audience with newfound precision and maximize your marketing dollars with every video ad. CTV advertising offers undeniable benefits to your marketing strategy. Those advertisers who’ve already jumped in are reaping the rewards — it’s time you joined them.

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